needing help/advice for the holidays

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by anxiety25, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. anxiety25

    anxiety25 New Member

    I'm a bit distraught and dreading the Thanksgiving/family get together this year. Last year my 4 year old (now 5) went to granny's house as we had last minute car problems and were unable to make it. I'm a bit concerned about my cousin's child who will be there-it's family... it's so much harder to address the issue without the "well, what was your kid doing to cause him to behave that way?" speech from them because they tend to think of their children as perfect it seems almost, and refuse to believe that there may be something that needs to be checked into. The kid was 7 years old and couldn't do the alphabet still, was held in first grade 2 times, and his fam just said that it was because the teacher didn't like him.

    When he came back last year, granny enlightened me with some lovely stories of his toys getting broken (as his toys are the only ones in the house) by my cousin's child, for no real reason. He was also apparantly running around like a lunatic, calling names, throwing everything around. Christmas came along... rinse, repeat. Same incidents. Just from these stories, I could almost laugh, because I could see my own driving granny crazy and things getting exaggerated...

    Easter came around and we went (all of us this time), in which during the time, I saw him taking bubble wands and putting them near my daughter's eyes as I and many others told him repeatedly to stop-his own mother and grandmother said nothing... didn't even acknowledge what was going on and we had told them both a few times, announced it loudly when explaining to anyone what had happened in hopes that someone would bother to say something to him... but nothing. He was also running around with baseball bats, etc., and pretending to swing them at my daughter's head (well, until I finally grabbed his wrist, yanked the thing away and locked it into my aunt's storage shed telling him I didn't care how much he wanted to whine-don't come to me, tell his mom and not to forget to tell her what he was doing at the time it was taken).

    A few weeks later, granny went to visit them and took my son with her... which seemed to be a decent visit until he got hit in the ear with a broomstick, leaving a huge bruise on the side of his head.

    About a week after that, we receive a phone call stating he broke his grandpa's tooth in half with a toy because he was too tired to play with him at that exact moment.

    Now, my son is no angel, and up until recently, I always tried to investigate what he did beforehand, but after witnessing some of this stuff, it makes mine look like an angel. Mine does spitting, calls names and all (no diagnosis of any sort, so not sure why-still waiting on his pediatrician appointment. for a referral of any sort), but if it comes to anything like a child taking a toy away from him or anything, he doesn't stand up for himself at all... he will willingly hand it over normally-very rarely coming to tell me that he had it first unless it's his own sister taking it from him, of course. :p

    We have prearranged going over there for Thanksgiving (to my mom's), and weren't sure, but now we know that the rest of the family is coming over for sure... I can't just say no to going, but we are brainstorming on ideas to keep things calm and under control. Any tips at all would be most helpful as right now, our hands are kind of tied and we are just praying that someone controls him this time when we go.

    by the way, not meaning to vent harshly as I know these scenarios probably meet the standards of all of our children combined-both my cousin's boy and my own. It's just really rough trying to know what to do at a family gettogether when he is let go and no one is bothering to check into it no matter what he does...
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Yikes! I wouldn't be letting my kids out of my sight with their cousin around. Depending on the relationship, I might even call to ask what she intends to do to keep the other kids safe from her son's "exuberance". :smirk:
  3. anxiety25

    anxiety25 New Member

    lol, no joke >.< I wish I could say it'd be easy to talk to her, but my mother has tried many times and they just act like he's the normal every day child... it's very odd-I just think they are too wrapped up in their own stuff to pay attention to him, and get offended if you say anything. My mom's idea right now is to get a football, send him outside, and tell him not to come in unless he has to go to the bathroom or we are eating. Last year she couldn't send him out 'cuz they only brought a bathrobe for him to wear... to use as a jacket at least. This year she says she doesn't care if he has a coat or not, he brings what he needs and if they say it's okay maybe they should leave if they don't like it :p

    Dunno how well that theory works-most likely not very at all... but I guess we will find out.

    I'm a semi over-protective mommy, being the only one taking care of my 2 children, and after all we've been through already... I've turned into a "mother bear" so to speak.. (i.e. "your child did WHAT to mine? and this is okay why? so in other words... if I do *this* to you, you're not gonna gripe or say anything right? 'cuz it's okay with you for people to treat each other that way...") No, I'm not violent by the way, lol, but I will say that to someone when not in the presence of anyone's child, and they usually think twice when they get it twisted to "wow, I wouldn't like it if someone did that to me". So in other words after that useless explanation, they won't be making it far out of sight with me around, they can't even go 2 rooms away in my own house without me checking to see what's going on, 'cuz I know my own son tends to disregard his own strength, or do things intentionally (unintentionally, but compulsively almost) at times, so they don't make it far if it gets quiet :wink:
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    It's up to you, but you DO have the option of not going and, if it upsets your child to go to a large setting and if your family asks you questions that upset you, in my opinion I wouldn't go. You're an adult and don't have to do what your older relatives want. I'd do what was best for my child (and have). You don't need that--you have plenty on your plate without clueless relatives judging you and your child falling apart. There is no way to make a large gathering of unknowing relatives go smoothly. I like quiet holidays. Good luck.
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    We had years when we had to have a parent supervise difficult child every minute while at grandma's for a holiday. My husband and tag teamed it. One year things were so bad we took seperate vehicles so we could get difficult child out of there if it was necessary.
  6. anxiety25

    anxiety25 New Member

    Well, the thing is, it's not my son, lol... it's my cousin's son who is violent. I'm very on top of mine-if I hear any strange noises I'm jumping up to see what's going on, lol. Mine isn't violent at all. The problem is we are tied for a 3 day weekend to stay there... the fam all comes out (with the violent kiddo) and then goes home, then we stay the night to go pick out a Christmas tree the next day with granny. Our other option is, if it gets too bad, mom is thinking of just telling them to go home if they don't begin controlling their child-and since they won't check into what is going on with him, the only other option is someone supervising at all times (though they tend to ignore most of his behavior even supervising). It's an odd situation-as I have not made it to a family get-together for 4-5 years now, this will be my first Thanksgiving back with the whole family... and I know that I can always leave (hey, wal-mart's open 24 hours a day) for an hour or so if they will not control their child... but are there any tips anyone has that I might be able to try if her child does get out of control? I don't want to seem nosy, and am afraid of going off on her royally for not paying attention to what is going on with him-it's very obvious there's something up. Besides normal behavior for him, he also will not look anyone in the eye, and if he does look you in the eye, he "blanks out" or appears to, then goes back to playing... or in his case, hitting people and destroying things. It still amazes me that she is so clueless to this and she lives with him 24/7... I see him maybe 3 times a year and can pinpoint this stuff right away. Maybe a "survival" kit of some sorts to give him something to do to keep him under control so he isn't hurting my children or breaking my son's toys for 3-4 hours... I keep trying to remember, as long as I'm on top of it, it can't get too bad right? ...and no one judges her by his behavior, it's just the lack of activity on her part and awareness that bothers us... at least we can say it's just a 3-4 hour visit, and we know what we are in for when they arrive, it would be nice just to be a bit more prepared, lol, and maybe have a back-up plan, or something to work with him with one on one... my ex's son was very violent unless he was getting a lot of one on one at times, so I'm wondering if maybe I should bring something specific just to sit down with him and work on when/if he gets out of control. It would feel odd as it's not my child and almost feels like overstepping in a sense, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot regardless-if that's what he needs, someone's gotta do it, and maybe she will notice if someone does something that calms him down... gah, sorry I'm blabbing so much about this, it's just a rough situation, lol. I don't expect anyone to understand why we are going, I just keep reminding myself it's only for a few hours and then they'll go home and we can go back to our calm environment, lol. My son is wild at times, but NEVER violent-his is just kind of impulsive yelling of silly stuff... over and over and over for half an hour then he stops all of a sudden, lol. But his is easy to keep under control because he can get absorbed into things easily, and his only violent tendencies are accidental-he's running or jumping like a madman, doesn't see what is goin on and plows into his sister, remorseful afterwards and he stops jumping after it also.

    Just not sure what to do with a child who isn't mine who has violent tendencies... and I don't wanna leave out-we fully understand when children are just out of control and can't be predicted, but in most situations you can tell the parents are stressed about it, etc., and try to act on it quickly-they show concern. My cousin just kind of... stands there and chit chats with people while this is going on... you actually have to tell her sometimes "hey, your kid just poked your baby in the eye with his finger, that's why she's crying" to make her realize it.
  7. Ltlredhen

    Ltlredhen New Member

    [ QUOTE ]
    I'm wondering if maybe I should bring something specific just to sit down with him and work on when/if he gets out of control.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Looks like if you and the family are going to have any sort of peaceful time together you may have to do just that.

    Does the child have any sort of special interest you could key in on to get/keep his attention? Such as, my difficult child absolutely loves fish of any kind. Would play or talk about them for hours on end.

    Just a thought.

  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    I agree with Donna. Call your cousin and say something like: "Now that the kids are getting older, I'd like to organize some activities to keep everyone happy and busy. What does XXX absolutely love to do?" Come up with several activities, figure each won't last the kids more than 20 or 30 minutes, so you need between 9 and 12 activities. Ideas include tag (outside), raking and jumping in leaves, I Spy, A Thanksgiving play for everyone (with paper bag and newspaper costume costumes!) card games, board games, crafts (maybe make place cards for everyone?) Kids should also sit with their parents at dinner to minimize problems there.
  9. Andrea Danielle

    Andrea Danielle New Member

    I cancelled out for the first time ever on our Canadian thansgiving last month with relatives. I just feel too tense because of difficult children swearing, it is really embarassing in front of the grandparents when he calls us or (even worse) them horrible names. So, I just bowed out this year and I was happy that I did, we just need to get through this rough time before I want to bring others into our little world of tension but it all depends on your difficult child, you know what is best.

    Good luck with Thanksgiving! I hope it goes well. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/10-312.gif

  10. anxiety25

    anxiety25 New Member

    Thank you all :laugh: I was thinking of bringing a survival kit of some sort (i.e. coloring books, workbooks, flash cards, games like connect four, etc.) and we have planned to string popcorn and dried fruit for a while to allow my mother cooking time, lol. We hang it outside like garland for her birds to eat :laugh:

    I'd hate for her to cancel, but I think she knows the tension we are all feeling just from the idea of dealing with another holiday, lol. All I know is that you guys are an awesome help for ideas on things to do, I can work with him one on one, but make it look not so one on one and bring enough things for all to play together at once, so that she doesn't get offended by me dragging him off to keep him busy, lol. I wish there was a way I could just flat out tell her she needs to get him checked out, not for our sake, but for his. If he's that disruptive, obviously the activity in the house is increasing it I'm sure... but that will hopefully come in time. Until then, it's nice to have some idea of what to do to keep the situation under control some, and keep my mother from kicking them out, lol, 'cuz hey, we all have interesting family members-there's no real "holiday" in our family without something going on. This is our current thing, and it'll be really nice to be able to act on it rather than everyone just sitting around and griping that she's not doing anything about it. Regardless how much I have vented here, I do realize the child needs someone working with him, and that's what will make the holidays best for all of us, especially him if it can calm him down some :smile: I'm sure he doesn't WANT to be the bully everywhere he goes, it just kinda happens.
  11. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    My advice is to mix in some physically active things with crafts or low-key games. I have a feeling that little guy has a high threshold for activity. He has to burn off the energy. Is there a playground nearby? If so, use that as a last resort but bring an extra adult to help monitor the kids.